Imagine a network ofphysical devices, vehicles, and other things, embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and connectivity which enables these things to connect and exchange data. This is the Internet of Things (IoT), also known as IoT connectivity. 

A “thing” is any object with embedded electronics that can transfer data over a network, without any human interaction.

IBM explains. 

When it comes to maritime and offshore industry, Internet of Things sees rising interest and is considered as one of the key digital trends to bring a positive disruption, along with the development of autonomous and unmanned vessels, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. 

Did you know that ship operators and managers plan to spend $2.5 million on IoT-based solutions within three years and expect, on average, to achieve IoT-driven cost savings of 14% over the next five years? 

A recent research conducted by Inmarsat finds maritime industry more amenable to adopting analytic, management and operational tools applied through the IoT than many commentators have supposed.             

Indeed, September 2018 was a clutch month with respect to IoT and other cloud based technologies in maritime and offshore industry. Specifically, 

  • Earlier this month UK-based oil and gas giant BP announced that it has deployed Plant Operations Advisor (POA), a cloud-based advanced analytics solution developed with Baker Hughes, a GE company, across all four of its operated production platforms in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 
  • At the same time, Inmarsat revealed Fleet Data, an Internet of Things (IoT) service, which will enable ship owners and managers to access and analyze real-time onboard. This service will help accelerate the adoption of IoT across the maritime industry.  

IoT may create unique opportunities for maritime industry but also challenges to privacy.

Security is an essential pillar of the Internet and maybe the most significant challenge for the IoT. It is of high importance, therefore, to bear in mind that increasing the number of connected devices increases the opportunity to exploit security vulnerabilities. Here are several challenges associated with the use of IoT based solutions in shiping industry:

  1. Insecure storage of data collected 
  2. Poor network security 
  3. Potential mishandling of data by staff 
  4. Risk of external cyber attack 
  5. Internal data regulation and compliance requirements 
  6. Supplier data regulation compliance requirements 
  7. We are yet to experience such risks in the future